Mid June

The hungry gap is now well and truly over and there is now plenty to nibble on out in the garden. The beetroot in the tunnel is swelling nicely and the larger ones starting to be lifted and used. The tops can also be used in salads.

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The ducks are producing 21 eggs a week so we are supplying family with eggs as well  as finding creative ways to use them up in omlettes and baking. Thankfully Laura is into baking.

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The first of the Goldrush courgettes have been cut in the past week or so. They are still quite small as there are many small female flowers and fruit but as yet not so many male flowers to polinate them. Cut and use up the first lot while small as this will encourage more.This will change as the season progresses with more male flowers being produced. The male flower does,nt have a swelling     (courgette) below the flower head. Last year I used a small paint brush kept in the soil becide the plant to hand pollinate by gently touching the brush against the anthers of the male flowers and transfering the pollen to the stigmas of the female flowers. It had a dramatic effect with much large courgettes so would recommend doing this if it’s on a small scale for home use.This should be done in the morning for best effect. Keep the plant tidy by remove any rotten flowerheads and leaves regularly. The flower heads can be eaten in salads or deep fried in batter.  A generous deep watering also helps. At the moment I am watering inside and out every second day as the garden is well mulched with compost etc.

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Also on the menu this week are rasberries (Rubus idaeus)

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The strawberry bed is producing well every day now with about a punnet a day. I keep removing all the runners and ripe fruit every 2 or 3 days to encourage continued fruiting as well as watering and feeding with nettle teas etc.. Place a little straw beneath the plants to keep the fruit clean

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In the little tunnel the cucumber marketmore is starting to climb well and is being trained up a string. I made a mistake using natural cord this year and the fibers rotted away at ground level needing replacing with canes and other types of cordage. Perhaps bamboo canes or hazel rods are better if one is tyring to avoid using synthetic materials. I would,nt bother with strawberries in smaller pots again, too much watering for little return. They are doing far better outside.

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I have been hard pruning the grape vine just allowing 4 or 5 bunches of grapes to develope cutting two leaves beyond the bunch and only allowing the main stem from which side branching is encouraged to advance along the roof of the tunnel.

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Tomatoes ,sideshooting is essential.

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A bed of mix brassicas with some tasty rocket , pak choi, Kale etc.

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Some pears developing

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Inside the tunnel. The nantes salad carrots are now being eaten. Some nice coriander, Marjoram, basil and mix leaves for eating. I suppose the main harvest will be the tomatoes and squash later in the summer/autumn.

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This borage is getting a bit out of hand but wonderful also. It’s planted in a bed with Oca, tomatoes , and a courgette.

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The first earlies outdoors are now ready for eating and the broadbeans have given way to the peas.

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The ducks doing their bit eating slugs.

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The rear of the garden is a battle for light and bindweed control from the neighbouring gardens.

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Some cress pea and alfalfa sprouts. Successional sowing continues generally.

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Nasturtiams are very tasty in salads

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We had some friends visit with their 5 year old daughter yesterday. It was lovely to see the excitement at pulling up a carrot or an onion and just generally walking about tasting stuff. The rocket was a big hit.

 

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